Religion and Power Comparing Political Landscape in the Religious Conflicts in Poso and Maluku

Sri Yunanto, Angel Damayanti


Indonesia is a pluralistic country inhabited by Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucians, with Muslims, hold the majority population. Their adherents live in harmony and tolerance within the democratic political system. However, at the outset of the reform era, Indonesian people suffered from instabilities, conflicts, and terrorism, capitalizing ethnic, tribal, and religious symbols for political objectives such as those in the religious conflicts in Poso and Maluku. This paper seeks to compare the political landscape of the Muslim-Christian conflicts in Maluku and Poso. This research uses a qualitative approach with a comparative method and finds similarities and differences of political factors explaining the conflicts. Its similarities were conflicts amongst social, political, and military leaders at the national and local levels. In addition, they used agent provocateurs to provoke their co-religionists. However, this study found differences in the involvement of student and youth unions in Maluku but not in Poso.

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